Harvard Heart Letter

The changing landscape of heart disease and diabetes care

blood test, diabetes test, doctor
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New guidelines and a novel diabetes drug point to new treatment approaches.

When it comes to the cardiovascular dangers from diabetes, the statistics are pretty disheartening: about two-thirds of people with type 2 diabetes ultimately die from heart disease or a stroke. But there's progress afoot. Recently updated guidelines and a novel diabetes drug with proven heart benefits offer promise for making a dent in that dire statistic. And in a nod to the importance of early detection, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended that adults ages 40 to 70 who are overweight be screened for diabetes (see "Diabetes screening tests").

"This is one of the most important periods in diabetes treatment in the last decade, as we're seeing the obesity epidemic manifest into more people developing diabetes," says Dr. Benjamin Scirica, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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